Preparations Continue For 2003 Broadway Negotiations

Volume CII, No. 12December, 2002

Bill Dennison

Preparations for the 2003 Broadway contract negotiations are moving forward on schedule. Several weeks ago Local 802 and the Broadway Theatre Committee completed a third strategic planning seminar. On Oct. 30, the committee finalized the election of a negotiating committee. And Local 802 continues to closely coordinate its activities with other unions both in the theatre community and in the broader labor movement. The current contract with the League of American Theatres and Producers expires on March 2, 2003.

The strategic planning seminars were conducted with the help of Ken Margolies, currently on the staff at Cornell University’s Labor Studies Program. Margolies has a wealth of union experience, including work on the Teamsters union campaign against UPS.

The seminar focused on developing contract proposals and shaping a contract campaign that takes advantage of the union’s many strengths going into next years’ talks. Among these are the widely recognized importance of Broadway to the city’s economy and the high level of musician unity in the fight to maintain live musical theatre.

That level of unity has been displayed over the past year in both the attendance and activity of the Theatre Committee. Each currently running Broadway show has elected representatives who serve on the committee along with past officers and representatives from recently closed shows. The committee has been meeting on a regular basis for the past several years. A nine-member negotiating committee was elected from the ranks of the Theatre Committee and includes: John Arbo (42nd Street), Ethan Fein (sub), Tino Gagliardi (Oklahoma), Maura Giannini (Dance of the Vampires), Lori Miller (Les Mis), Jan Mullen (Phantom), David Nyberg (Mamma Mia), Clay Ruede (Flower Drum Song) and Dean Thomas (Aida). The two alternates are Nancy Billman (Into the Woods), and Chris Olness (The Producers).